NCAA hoop kicks offCebu Daily News
THE NCAA’S 88th basketball season kicks off with a bang today with an exciting double-header that will be bannered by the matchup between last year’s runners-up San Sebastian Stags and this year’s hosts Letran Knights at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Stags are out for blood as they aim to claim the title that they last raised several years ago.
They made it back to the finals last year but fell prey to the hungrier San Beda Red Lions.
The Stags return with the league’s most formidable trio in reigning MVP Calvin “The Beast” Abueva, center Ian Sangalang, and wingman Ronald Pascual.
Abueva is set to reprise his MVP performance last year, wherein he averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and four assists per game. Sangalang, meanwhile, normed 16 points and 11 rebounds while Pascual, who is returning from an ACL injury, got 17 points per match.
However, facing them will be a tough Letran squad that boasts of two members from last year’s Mythical Five team. These are bonafide star guard Kevin Louie Alas, who averaged 17 points and five assists, and lanky defensive center Raymond Almazan, who led the league in blocks last season with almost three a game.
The second game will see the Mapua Cardinals face off against the Jose Rizal Bombers. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio